Central Kids Kindergartens - Mercury Bay - 13/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Central Kids Kindergartens - Mercury Bay is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children, with the support of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (Trust).


Central Kids Kindergartens - Mercury Bay is located in Whitianga and caters for children from the local community and surrounding areas. The kindergarten is well established in the community and some families have generational connections. Education and care are provided for up to 40 children over the age of two. The kindergarten operates Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8.45am to 2.45pm and Wednesday 8.45am to 1.00pm.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust, (known as Central Kids). It aims to develop children’s skills to become lifelong learners and support them to become confident, competent, strong communicators and secure in their sense of belonging. Teachers value partnerships with parents and have a commitment to celebrate the dual cultural heritage and multi-cultures of New Zealand.

The teaching team has been together for a number of years. Recent professional development about positive guidance enhances teaching practices and supports children’s social development.

The kindergarten has responded to the 2010 ERO review and has reviewed the indoor learning environments to increase opportunities for children to learn through play. They have adopted the new appraisal system developed by the Trust. This system is supporting teachers to reflect on the quality of their teaching practice.

While teachers have had a focus on improving self-review processes, there remains a need for systems to be further developed. This should enable teachers to more effectively monitor the quality of teaching and educational outcomes for children.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in eleven early childhood education services within the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust umbrella organisation.

Review Findings

A feature of the centre is the emphasis placed on fostering children’s and parents’ sense of wellbeing and belonging through trusting relationships. Teachers have a good knowledge of how children learn, and notice and respond to their emerging interests to extend their thinking. The environment is well resourced and provides children with a range of choices to initiate and support their learning.

Children confidently use information and communication technologies as a tool for learning. Teachers work alongside them to develop their research skills and seek further information. Teachers are committed to the principles of sustainability and children learn to respect and nurture papatuanuku (the earth). Literacy and mathematics are woven throughout children’s play. There are many opportunities for children to develop their social skills through meaningful interactions with their peers and adults. Teachers have enhanced the inside environment and purchased resources to reflect a stronger Māori dimension, and are increasingly integrating te reo and tikanga Māori practices. They operate an inclusive programme and give careful consideration to providing appropriate challenges for boys.

The head teacher has strong links with the local community. Parents are welcomed by the kindergarten team and are able to share their aspirations for their child’s wellbeing. Children and parents have easy access to children’s profiles. These profiles celebrate their time at the centre.

The kindergarten receives equity funding that is well used to support teachers' professional development, and to provide further learning opportunities and resources for all children.

The Trust provides clear and comprehensive guidelines and expectations for practice. The head teacher and teachers are well supported by a knowledgeable and experienced professional leader. The Trust provides generous professional development for teachers to keep them up-to-date with current theory and practice.

Key Next Steps

There remains a need for the head teacher to work collaboratively with staff to more effectively monitor and review positive outcomes for children. ERO, kindergarten leaders and teachers agree that the key next step to inform decisions for ongoing improvement is to implement and document effective systems and procedures to guide self review. This should include:

  • a focus on teaching and learning, and outcomes for all children
  • links between the kindergarten’s vision, philosophy, annual plan and outcomes of the appraisal process
  • a clear review focus with a specific purpose supported by meaningful indicators
  • planned actions and timeframes, which include ongoing monitoring of self review projects
  • professional learning and development, and research related to the self review focus area
  • in-depth analysis of appropriate evidence.


The head teacher and teachers with the support of the Trust’s professional leadership team, develop reliable and effective self review systems.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Mercury Bay completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

13 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā










Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

13 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

February 2007

November 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.